Y’all were so helpful…

Y'all were so helpful with the Greek thing (I got three responses right away, and one of them (Heather's reminder that Nick Mamatas (one of our SH writers) is Greek) has panned out beautifully, as Nick is now serving as my personal translator. And so I wonder if any of you can help me with a bit of ancient Greek? There's a tiny passage where Wendy and Mark are in her library, looking at a book of Sappho's poetry. It would be great if Wendy could read some of the ancient Greek out loud -- but I'm not sure how to get that, since what I've found on web searches so far is actually in Greek, and I'd need the transliterated version. Any ideas? Help? Here's the scene in question:

Oh, and while we're at it, there's a bit in there about women in ancient Greece that I'm not sure is true. If anyone could tell me authoritatively one way or another, I'd be very grateful.


You drift over to a tall bookshelf in the far corner. Books are reassuring. Several copies of each of her books take up one long shelf -- it's impressive, in a way, but also somewhat off-putting. It's like bragging, having your books out like that. Slightly tacky. Wendy does have plenty of other good books, including a beautiful edition of Sappho's love poems, original Greek side by side with English translations. You page through, find an old favorite: "Without warning / as a whirlwind / swoops on an oak / Love shakes my heart."

"You like Sappho?" Wendy asks, as she walks back into the room, hands you a glass of wine. You take a sip before answering -- it's incredibly good, much better than the ten dollar a bottle stuff you can barely afford to buy.

"I do. I like her work very much." You always have; some of it is the fact that they're love letters to another woman, and some of it is just the beauty of the poetry.

Wendy takes the book out of your hands and pages through it, her hands gentle on the pages. She pauses to read a few lines, out loud in Greek. [insert actual Greek]. Her pronunciation is impeccable; far better than your own -- you could close your eyes and imagine yourself in Athens, standing under the pillars of the Parthenon...or even better, sitting under a tree on the Acropolis, listening to your lover speak under an impossibly blue sky. Of course, back in Sappho's day, a woman wouldn't have known how to read [true?]. You don't really want to live back in ancient times -- you don't think.


I'll also admit, re: the above, that while I do think the idea of a brag shelf is slightly tacky I have one anyway, and I will be excessively pleased when the books I'm in actually fill a shelf. It's close. Maybe I need shorter shelves. :-)

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